Friday, January 29, 2010

Red Friday to suit

Yes, dearest friends, I can postpone the inevitable no longer: the suit is done, completed, finito! but to see it, you'll have to mosey down to my blog, because, with profound apologies to you all, I just don't have the time (or the patience, or the inclination) to duplicate posts across the ether. But, OK, it's only fair that you get a picture:

How and what did I do?
My bouclé was a really light and airy, fluffy, stretchy wool-mohair bouclé. I knew that to keep its shape it would have to be underlined. Fortunately, I found a perfectly colour-matched red poly organza for underlining. The jacket fronts & sides are underlined, as is the entire upper back all the way around the armscyes, and the entire hem. In retrospect, it would've been easier to just underline the whole lot instead of snipping here & there. A little info tidbit for next time, and yes, there's going to be next times! Each bit of underlining has been painstakingly stitched at 1.5 cm/ or 1/2" intervals, to the fashion fabric, to serve as a scaffold. I'm sure that otherwise the whole lot would just have stretched out of shape pronto! The skirt, BWOF 9-2008-120 pencil skirt, is underlined the same way. I had frightening visions of poochy backside after sitting on it for an hour or two, never to return to the desired shape; atomic-bomb indestructible poly underlining ensures that'll never happen. The sleeves however are NOT underlined. Instead, they're nice and skinny and totally flexible.

Both jacket & skirt are lined, the jacket with stretch silk charmeuse, the skirt with red heavy bemberg rayon, with thread tacks to keep it down, and a shiny down-to-there gold zipper for a bit of vertical interest.

I sort of quilted the lining, but only barely, by hand. What I mean is that the 3-piece sleeves were constructed with the lining, and the lining hand-quilted down to the FF at the lower reaches of the sleeve only. I bagged the body lining, prick-stitched around all the edges, and then used a modified bag-the-sleeve-lining technique to attach the sleeve lining to the body lining. The lining's quilted to the ff/underlining along all the seam allowances. I intended to also hand-quilt the lining down to the ff at 1" intervals, but was persuaded by hubby that this would serve no practical purpose. He's right, of course! What a relief, too. I did all the bottom hemming & chain attachment by hand, with lots of steam to shrink the wool hem into shape.

And, of course, all the trim was attached by hand. As were the pockets and the hooks. Chanel couture really tries one's patience, you know?

Pockets: there are the requisite four pockets, two big, two small. However, as I'm fairly generously endowed and don't need any more attention UP THERE, especially in a work setting, I chose to overlap my pockets somewheres-about my waistline (OK, a bit below my waistline). Each pocket is double-lined, so there's yummy silk on both sides of your fingers should you wish to slip them inside: my son went oooooh!!!! when he tested them. Yeah, more hand sewing - lining to pocket, pocket to jacket, lining to jacket. But it's kind of cute to have four super-soft change pockets about one's person.

Other than that? Hmm, that skirt is majorly Pegged. What that means is that for a really comfortable stride you'll want to either: 1. shorten it by 5 cm / 2"; 2. create a vent, slit, or box pleat at the bottom centre back; 3. un-peg it (stylistically, NOT an option! do NOT do this!!!). Don't get me wrong, I love it as is, but I couldn't outrun a caterpillar in it. A fuzzy fat caterpillar.

I promise I WILL post a live pic of the suit on MOI, and you'll find it on StraightJacket Muse, here. And I'll update this post for the in-action photos once I do.

ETA: The on-me blog entry is here and here, and the PR review is here.


  1. What a great suit! My favorite part of the jacket is the trim esp. around the shoulders. Thank you for sharing the details! I will be following your blog!

  2. That is a fabulous suit, I really like the trim (secretly I was hoping you would use that one). I also like that you were not put off by all the work and are ready to make another... we'll make sure this blog never closes:)

  3. Love the suit and it turned out very nice. I really like the skirt on it!

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